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Every May, UCF hosts the Summer Faculty Development Conference in the week following final exams. Full-time faculty members submit proposals to transform courses or programs according to goals and objectives related to a conference theme. Two to three hundred faculty join colleagues from across the university to attend keynote and concurrent sessions, engage in hands-on workshops, and devote allocated time to their specific projects.

Selected faculty members who attend all sessions and submit the required deliverables receive a grant, subject to normal withholding tax. The call for proposals usually goes out toward the end of January.

2021 Summer Faculty Development Conference

We are pleased to announce the call for proposals for the 2021 UCF Summer Faculty Development Conference to be held remotely on May 10–12, 2021.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Renewing Our Commitment to Critical Thinking and Inquiry.”

There are two tracks available this year:

  1. the main FCTL track, and
  2. the High-Impact Course Designation Bootcamp sponsored by the Division of Student Learning and Academic Success: Adapt and prepare your course to apply for the Service-Learning (SL), Integrative-Learning Experience (IE), Research Intensive (RI), and the new Global Learning (GL) course designations. Learn more and apply at For questions about this track, contact  

Description: Higher Education has focused on teaching critical thinking skills for many years, yet the literature on the topic still reveals little consensus around definitions, prescriptions, or outcomes. We face an increasing urgency to develop problem-posing and problem-solving competencies in our students if we are to make a significant impact on issues related to global pandemics, degraded ecosystems, political instabilities, and world-wide social inequalities, not to mention the dangerous implications of widespread misinformation and the increasing distrust of expertise and scholarship.

Our application process will ask you to choose a course or program that needs a renewed focus on critical thinking outcomes, assessments, and learning activities for in-person, online, or mixed modalities. It will ask you to articulate a needs statement and a proposed innovation regarding critical thinking that is specific to that course or program. We also require a commitment to attend the entire conference, a short end-of-conference reflection statement, a short end-of-conference evaluation form, and a post-implementation report to be submitted at the conclusion of the Fall 2021 semester. Participants are encouraged to work in teams but must apply individually.

Interactive workshops will be available related to the theme, and you will also have multiple opportunities to engage with your peers as you develop new strategies and instruments to promote your students’ learning.

While we hope to include a larger number of participants this year than in past years, please keep in mind that the application process may be very competitive. We encourage you to make clear and compelling connections between the theme and your instructional/professional need.

The conference will be held remotely via Zoom sessions on May 10–12. Participants will commit to attending a minimum number of synchronous sessions while working on a reflection/application document to be submitted at the end of the conference. After completing the participation and deliverable requirements, faculty members will receive a $500 grant (before taxes).

The hours of the conference will be 8:30–4:00 on May 10 and 11, and 8:30–12:30 on May 12.

All Proposals for the FCTL track are due by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 15, 2021. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by March 22, 2021.

Note: Faculty may apply to any of the Summer Conference tracks or the Knighted Faculty cohort, but will only be accepted into one since these programs will be held concurrently.

Criteria for acceptance: applications will be evaluated based on

  1. Relevance and persuasiveness of the needs statement to the conference theme,
  2. Clarity, organization, and specificity of the proposed innovation in terms of the needs statement and conference theme, and
  3. Commitment to attendance and reporting requirements.
  4. Among proposals that meet the above criteria, new faculty members will be given special consideration.

Previous Agendas